Blog

Sun 7th October 2012

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM

A super Autumn day today without even doing any 'proper' birding. The poor weather of yesterday had disappeared to reveal clear skies first thing this morning, so I spent a while around breakfast-time "viz-migging" from the back garden. There was constant passage going on, mostly Meadow Pipits and Swallows heading south, but also a few finches and Song Thrushes. Very pleasant stuff indeed, but was very gripped to hear the news that 2 Great White Egrets had been seen on the island.

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I wasn't in the position of trying to re-find them as I was kid-minding all morning, but I was keen to go out somewhere. So I took the kids for a walk along the Bordeaux scrubland where the Swallow and House Martin passage was even stronger as birds headed south along the coast in their hundreds. There were a few warblers in the bushes, and the odd other thing going overhead, but the highlight was a flock of 5 Mistle Thrushes calling and flying round and round, clearly new arrivals looking for a place to feed.

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Back at home for lunch, I looked out of the landing window to see a dark, long-tailed raptor heading past. "Marsh Harrier" I presumed, but after locating the bins I saw that this was a buzzard. Looking closely, it was actually a Honey Buzzard, hence the long tail, but a not so obvious one, being a juvenile bird and being very dark. It was soon joined by a Common Buzzard as they drifted East. But the Honey appeared again and this time drifted west again. It sounds like it was the same bird Mark G had seen earlier in the day on the West coast.

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Mid to late-afternoon, I managed to squeeze an hour or so out of the weekend, and decided to head west just in case the GWEgrets had reappeared. And as I was getting my stuff together, got a call that there were 2 Spoonbills flying round Rocquaine, which was good timing. Reaching L'Eree they were nowhere to be seen of course but there were 2 Black-wits, a Ruff and a Lapwing on the Aerodrome. A few birders gathered by the Shingle Bank and looking far to the NW, I picked up 2 big white birds in the far distance flying over the rocks at Perelle Bay. I was desperate for them to be the GWEgrets, but of course, I could faintly see that they were sticking their necks straight out in front of them - the Spoonbills. Not to be sniffed at though, and I drove to Fort le Crocq and watched them perched on the rocks off the headland. Both birds were ringed - one colour-ringed, one darvic-type - and we await to hear news of their origin.

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distant Spoonbills - Fort le Crocq, 7 Oct 2012

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Midweek had been pretty much of a wash out - it rained a lot again. This year has been so rainy it's incredible. The only notable sighting was of a Green Sandpiper at the Rue des Bergers pond. I suspect I will be visiting this area more often this year, as I have decided to try and stay very close to school during the lunch hour. Last year I was hurtling down to L'Eree as often as possible at lunch, and other more distant places, but the rushing around is not healthy and there's always the worry about not getting back in time for lessons. So I've decided to only do lunch hour birding within 5 minutes of school this year for a more relaxing experience. It still includes some good sites like Rue des Bergers, Fauxquets and Talbot Valleys, Grande Mare, top end of Vazon, Ft Hommet etc. (Unless something mega turns up, when I shall fly like the wind! I have tested it, and I can reach any spot on the island and still get back in time - so long as a walk is not required and the bird is showing immediately!). I didn't get a decent picture of the Green Sand though, so here's a Snipe from RDB instead.

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Snipe - Rue des Bergers, 4 Oct 2012

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Categories: 2012 Autumn